Excerpt About Goals

Two Ways of Living with Regard to Goals

Generally speaking, there are two ways of living with regard to goals. One of them is being motivated by pursuing certain goals; this is the usual way people live in our society. The goals can be anything—to become a basketball star, a musician, or President; or to become rich, secure, famous, enlightened, or whatever. Generally, people cannot live without goals, because without goals, they feel aimless and lacking in meaning or significance in their lives. Without goals they often feel they have no orientation, and most individuals cannot tolerate this feeling. People often decide on certain goals very early in childhood. These goals are largely determined by what we call the “ego ideal.” For the normal personality, the ultimate goal is the realization of the ego ideal—to become your ideal, whatever it might be. The problem is that when you are trying to reach a goal, you are separating yourself from your present reality.............
A second way is to live in the present, to be who you are at the moment, as a completeness and a fullness. This means actualizing who you are. At any moment you are who you are, and there is no need to be anything or to go anywhere. It is because you are not who you are that you want to be something, and you create all these goals and aims. Because who you are is missing, you have no truedirection; your life feels meaningless, insignificant, with no value and no orientation. You attempt to fill this deficiency with goals and ideals and aims in order to create a sense of significance, meaning, fullness, importance, orientation, direction. However, when you let yourself be who you are instead of trying to be something different, you experience everything in your life as significant and important without even thinking of things as significant and important, by virtue of just being, just living. This kind of living does not exclude goals. A person living in the present can have goals, but the goals are not to be something; the goals are an expression and the result of who the person is at the moment. The person is already fulfilled, and that fulfillment can then manifest as certain goals.

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